Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Condi Schools Katie

Condoleezza Rice interviewed by Katie Couric on December 3rd for an HBO special, as transcribed by News Busters:
KATIE COURIC: On Iraq, books have been written, as you know, many, many books; documentaries have been made about how intelligence was incorrectly analyzed and cherry-picked to build an argument for war, and memos from that time do suggest that officials knew there was a small chance of actually finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, wait a second, what?

COURIC: (Chuckles.) There are -- there are some things that seem to suggest that in the buildup to the actual war that there was some doubt about that, wouldn't you say --

RICE: No. (Laughter.)

COURIC: Well --

RICE: Actually, I don't agree with that premise at all.

COURIC: You don't?

RICE: No. . .

COURIC: Well, if there weren't, ultimately, weapons of mass destruction found, what was then the rationale for war? Without that, is there another rationale other than the world is better off without Saddam Hussein?

RICE: Well, that's a pretty good rationale. (Laughter.) But let me -- let me go back to the premise, the question, in the absence of weapons of mass destruction, what was the -- it's true that you can only -- that what you know today can affect what you know and do tomorrow, but what you know today cannot affect what you did yesterday.

So the premise that somehow, because weapons of mass destruction were not found in stockpiles, the rationale for the war was flawed leaves out the fact that at the time that we decided to go to war, we thought there were weapons of mass destruction.
(via reader Warren)


Warren said...

"People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons."

Former President Clinton
During an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live"
July 22, 2003

Whitehall said...

Would that the Bush Administration had been more direct and effective in making this point during their time in office.

Seems that there is good evidence that the WMD were shuttled out to the neighbors before the invasion, just as Saddam's air force evacuated to Iran prior to Gulf War I.

OBloodyHell said...

Actually, this argument, while factually correct, plays into their stupidity, and thus leaves it standing. You will never disabuse them of the fact that there were, apparently, no weapons there (there are arguments that there were, but they were transported out by Russians -- which is also irrelevant)


> Without that, is there another rationale other than the world is better off without Saddam Hussein?

THIS rationale is MORE THAN ADEQUATE to justify the war.

Fact: It is clear that he was a genocidal maniac, as were his sons.

His gassing of the Kurds, the rape rooms in which the families of his enemies were assaulted as those enemies were fed, alive and aware, into an industrial meat grinder...

THESE alone, in the mind of any rational person, should constitute an overwhelming reason to take Saddam out.

But let's assume you're completely selfish -- "F*** them!" say you. "No Americans should die to rescue any of them damned foreigners!"

In other words, assume you are a selfish, cold, heartless, uncaring son of a b****.

What other possible reason might one have for wanting to take Saddam out?

Hans Blix, hardly a Bush/Blair shill, has indicated as a result of post-war inspections that Saddam had the capacity to, within 90 days of the dropping of sanctions, produce botulin in industrial quantities. Within 180 days, he could have been producing anthrax in industrial quantities.

It is self-evidently clear that those sanctions were being eroded as a direct result of his diversion of Oil-For-Food humanitarian monies to buy off UN officials -- to the tune of 1.9 BILLION dollars in bribes -- that they were not long for this earth.

Which means that, assuming a 2-year time table, that, without the war, Saddam would have had botulin and anthrax by 2005.

Do you REALLY believe he would not have made these available for terrorist use in the last five years, had he been in power?

No, America had a self-serving, perfectly adequate reason for taking Saddam out which had nothing to do with the very significant humanitarian side benefits of doing it.

More in a bit. Gotta go for now.

Carl said...

I agree that everyone -- Democrat and Republican; European and American -- thought Saddam had weapons. But I also agree with OBH that if Saddam didn't have weapons then, he was developing them and likely would have used or spread them. And I agree that the invasion served other, humanitarian objectives.

This many years on, I'm almost angry that this is still debated among the left.

Warren said...

Harry Reid, of all people, had the right idea back in 2002. It's a position I've always had. If the U.N. had acted when they should have -- as soon as Saddam stopped cooperating -- the world would have been saved a lot of trouble and needless deaths.

"We stopped the fighting [in 1991] on an agreement that Iraq would take steps to assure the world that it would not engage in further aggression and that it would destroy its weapons of mass destruction. It has refused to take those steps. That refusal constitutes a breach of the armistice which renders it void and justifies resumption of the armed conflict."

Senator Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada)
Addressing the US Senate
October 9, 2002
Congressional Record, p. S10145